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Overview

Cambodia represents former French Indochina at its most ancient and, with a fledgling democracy currently in place, its most progressive. The renowned Angkor-period historical sites in the northwest compose one of the world's greatest archaeological treasures, while its South China Sea islands and coastline are among the most undeveloped in the region. Other natural attractions include the lengthy Mekong River, home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin, and the vast Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. The French colonial legacy is abundantly visible in the late 19th- and early 20th-century architecture of several towns and ...

Cambodia represents former French Indochina at its most ancient and, with a fledgling democracy currently in place, its most progressive. The renowned Angkor-period historical sites in the northwest compose one of the world's greatest archaeological treasures, while its South China Sea islands and coastline are among the most undeveloped in the region. Other natural attractions include the lengthy Mekong River, home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin, and the vast Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. The French colonial legacy is abundantly visible in the late 19th- and early 20th-century architecture of several towns and cities, including Battambang, Kompot, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Potent reminders of the late 1970s Khmer Rouge domination are preserved in heart-tugging historical exhibits in Phnom Penh, yet the booming capital is also quickly returning to its "mini-Paris" status with chic riverside cafés, restaurants and bars.

Joe Cummings
About the Expert

Joe Cummings has contributed to more than 35 guidebooks, maps, atlases, phrasebooks and photographic works, including his bestselling Lonely Planet Thailand and Buddhist Stupas of Asia: The Shape of Perfection.

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